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Peacock and Elizabeth Banks are setting out to subvert the superhero genre with Red Queen, a TV series about a dystopian version of America ruled over by demogagic metahuman monarchs. Beth Schwartz (Arrow, Sweet Tooth) will executive produce and showrun the one-hour drama, which is based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Victoria Aveyard (the first in a trilogy). The author is co-writing the pilot episode with Schwartz.
The show will center on Mare Barrow, a poor young woman trying to survive and protect her family. As a member of common-blooded society (known as "Reds"), Mare must serve the powerful elites (or "Silver-blooded" folk). Upon discovering that she too has superpowers, Mare becomes the symbol of a revolution "for the oppressed while searching for the truth behind the greatest mystery of all…how she became so powerful in the first place," reads the official synopsis.
In addition to serving as an executive producer and director, Banks is also set to take on a "major supporting role." Her fellow EPs include Aveyard and Max Handelman. Dannah Shinder is a co-executive producer. The project also marks a collaboration between Warner Bros. Television, Universal Television (a division of Universal Studio Group), and Banks' banner, Brownstone Productions.
"I’m a visual writer, so it’s fitting that my inspiration for the story came from a single image. A teenage girl beaten, defeated, about to be executed, who then electrocutes her executioner with her own special power," Aveyard told The Guardian in 2015. "I was enamoured with the idea, and started expanding the character and world that would allow it to exist. The story came with it."